|A gorgeous crop version of the Mayan calendar.|
There are a lot of people with a lot of theories on what's going to happen during the holiday season, year 2012. Some people are pretty sure that our mother Earth is going to slam into another planet. Some think that we'll be hit by a solar flare. Some expect global warming to deal its killing stroke while we're still procrastinating on buying Christmas presents. I personally predict that bottled water sales will spike, along with flashlights and canned food. And Paper Jamz Guitars, just in case.
This may be insensitive of me, but I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of a global cataclysm. If you weigh the likelihood of:
1. Humanity becoming less detrimental because we reverse our progress, start consuming less, and start treating the environment like we are a part of it (instead of it being our simultaneous supply closet and garbage can).
and then compare that to the likelihood of
2. Humanity becoming less detrimental because of a global cataclysm which wipes humanity out.
The second possibility seems much more likely. The first one almost seems like trying to get more than six billion heroin addicts clean all at once. That's the way it looks from where I'm standing.
But I don't think that anything particularly special is going to happen in 2012, other than a really fancy-looking Mayan calendar becoming obsolete (remind me to buy a new one). I may have that feeling because my life has, thus far, been fairly mundane, and it's hard to imagine that trend would end a couple of years from now.
But what if it does? What good exactly does it do us to know it ahead of time? Does it give us time to buy space blankets, or to make sure that our final prayer is really really sincere? Perhaps you want to finish that novel, so that it can start the long, drawn-out publication process, and then be released after Earth has already slammed into Nibiru.
This is my prediction: There will be a lot of murmurings about the end of the world, but most people will act as usual, wrapping gifts and fishing out DVDs of It's a Wonderful Life. There will be a small minority (probably magnified through news coverage) that will stand on hilltops and wait for ships to take them away, or suicide cults drinking cyanide-laced Power Ade. And then we'll all celebrate the new year at the start of 2013, all of us a little disappointed that the Mayans didn't keep their promise, a little disappointed that we never got to participate in a survival-type scenario like in Independence Day, a little disappointed that 2013 looks pretty much like 2012, but with a better iPhone.
People will make excuses why their predictions didn't pan out, some of us will buy those excuses, and it will be business as usual until the next world-terminating event appears on the horizon. Some will remember Y2K, and 2012, and others will say, "No, this is different." And humans will be humans.
And, eventually, when a meteor does hit the earth, or an unprecedented earthquake wipes out all coastal populations, or some thing that we never thought of hits the whole of humanity like a baseball bat in the head, nobody will see it coming.
Thanks for reading.